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Furbisher steps up as Sheffield Star editor quits

Alan Powell has announced he is stepping down as editor of the Sheffield Star seven months after suffering a major heart attack.

The 64-year-old has recovered well from his illness, but has decided to relinquish his role after 44 years in journalism.

His successor is John Furbisher, who has been the paper’s acting editor since November and who was previously editor of the Halifax Courier.

Said Alan: “I have had a truly enjoyable career in Sheffield and I am sorry to go. But the health message was clear enough and I have decided to take life a little easier.”

Alan became editor of The Star in 2005 and before that was editor of sister paper the Sheffield Telegraph.

He started out in journalism in Sheffield in 1966, initially working in The Star’s Worksop office, and has spent his entire career working on papers in the city.

He subsequently worked on the newsdesk, as features editor, chief sub-editor and deputy editor, and was in charge of the paper during the Hillsborough Disaster.

He became the launch editor of the Sheffield Telegraph in 1989 after its relaunch as a paid-for colour weekly. The daily version had closed three years earlier.

Beyond the city, Alan was a board member of the Society of Editors and also served on its Parliamentary and Legal Committee.

He said: “I can honestly say that journalism has been my life, and although I am leaving The Star I hope to continue some of the associations I have developed over the years.”

John, 50, had edited the Courier for six years, having previously been deputy editor of the Yorkshire Post and before that northern correspondent of the Sunday Times.

He said: “I’m excited and honoured to be joining The Star, a great newspaper serving a great community. Alan is a giant in Yorkshire journalism and I shall strive to carry forward his campaigning spirit.”


Martin Edmunds (10/06/2010 10:02:16)
A typically brave and sensible decision by Alan. It is a sad day for journalism as the industry has lost a truly nice guy and inspirational leader. As a former JP editor, I know that John is one of the very few that people could fill such a large pair of shoes. Happy retirement, Alan, and good luck, John.